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spreads is a tool that aims to streamline your book scanning workflow. It takes care of every step: Setting up your capturing devices, handling the capturing process, downloading the images to your machine, post-processing them and finally assembling a variety of output formats.

For this, you can make use of one of the three available user interfaces: A handy graphical wizard that walks you through the whole process, a lightweight command-line wizard or you can control each of the workflow steps individually through their respective commands.

spreads is meant to be fully customizable. This means, adding support for new devices is made as painless as possible. You can also hook into any of the spread commands by implementing one of the available workflow hooks in a plugin, and you can even add completely new commands and/or user interfaces, if you want to.


spreads can be easily installed from PyPi:

$ pip install spreads

Before you can start scanning books, you will have to configure the application:

$ spread configure

Here, you can select a device driver, your desired plugins and setup your devices.

Once you’re done, you can start either the command-line or the GUI wizard:

$ spread wizard ~/my_scanning_project
$ spread gui

Refer to the Command-Line Reference if you want to explore further commands and options.

More Documentation


In case you’re wondering about the choice of mascot, the figure depicted is a Benedictine monk in his congregation’s traditional costume, sourced from a series of 17th century etchings by the Bohemian artist Wenceslaus Hollar, depicting the robes of various religious orders. The book he holds in his hand is no accident, but was likely delibaretely chosen by the artist: The Benedictines used to be among the most prolific copiers of books in the middle-ages, preserving Europe’s written cultural heritage, book spread for book spread, in a time when a lot of it was in danger of perishing. spreads wants to help you do the same in the present day. Furthermore, the Benedictines were (and still are) very active missionaries, going out into the world and spreading ‘the word’. spreads wants you to do the same with your digitized books (within the boundaries of copyright law, of course).

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